Little Simz started her Drop EP series back in 2014, with its first five editions surrounding the release of her 2015 debut album. Drop 6 arrived in 2020, acting as a transition between her critically acclaimed studio albums, Grey Area and Sometimes I Might Be Introvert. Unlike her Inflo-produced albums, the five-track EP included production from numerous beat-makers, including Kal Banx, BLK VYNL, and St Francis Hotel.
Since 2019, Simz and Inflo have been on a 3-peat run of stellar hip hop masterpieces. They have consistently outdone themselves as one of hip hop’s most talented rapper/producer duos. In 2022, they dropped their third full-length collaboration, No Thank You. With Inflo’s help, we are currently seeing Simz at what appears to be a long-lasting creative peak. As we await her next album, Little Simz is back with Drop 7, a new EP fully produced by British musician Jakwob. It gives us an exciting glimpse into the next phase of her artistic evolution.
Little Simz Immerses Herself In New Sounds
Little Simz and Jakwob are frequent collaborators. He notably produced “Rollin’ Stone” from Sometimes I Might Be Introvert. However, this is their very first time locking in for an entire project. From Grey Area to No Thank You, Simz and Inflo built their own unique sound chemistry, but Drop 7 sees Jakwob pushing her out of her comfort zone. Little Simz explores completely new musical territory on this EP. Over the course of seven tracks, she covers a range of genres.
The first two songs blend hip hop with Brazilian funk. This sound may be new for her, but it is unsurprising considering she once rapped about being “in São Paulo eating palm hearts.” “Mood Swings” is a minimal yet energetic opening track that is dynamic in how it transitions between a calm hook and hard-hitting verses. The song seamlessly flows into “Fever,” another danceable Brazilian funk track. From there, we get hip hop bangers like the fast-paced “Torch” and the bouncy “Power.” There is also “I Ain’t Feelin’ It,” which has a wavy trap instrumental. Songs like the house fusion, “SOS” and the Jersey Club-inspired “Far Away” also test the limits of Little Simz’s sound. She traverses each of these musical styles with ease, freeing herself of artistic boundaries.
A Short Yet Adventurous Listen
With Jakwob’s multifaceted production skills, Drop 7 proves to be a short yet adventurous listen. His beats recall the aesthetic of Little Simz’s earlier work but with a more diverse soundscape. The experimental production is part of what makes this EP such an enjoyable change of pace. Still, Little Simz is always the star of her own show. Much like on Drop 6, she tries new flows and cadences.
Simz sounds more playful than ever on songs like “Fever,” where she raps in Portuguese and gives another nod to São Paulo. She proclaims herself as “International Simbi.” There is also “Torch” where she tries different voices. She playfully asks listeners if they “wanna see some more” before telling them “don’t be afraid of the bounce” as soon as the beat drops. The aptly-titled “Mood Swings” shifts between soft-spoken lyrics over muted percussion and demanding bars over explosive drums.
Simz also flexes her success and realness on “I Ain’t Feelin’ It.” On this track, she references her Top Boy character as she says, “shell, shell, shell when they see me / Shelley’s nail bar only exists on the TV.” No matter how she raps, Little Simz is always commanding in her delivery, demanding the attention of the listener. She even reaches beyond rapping as she sings on the closing track, “Far Away.”
Overall, Drop 7 comes and goes as a 15-minute listen, but its seven songs leave a lasting impression of the potential next steps in Little Simz’s creative progression. It is a quality reminder of how the Drop series has helped foster this growth. Drop 7 is ultimately satisfying as a short EP that builds anticipation for her next full-length album. The latest installment in the series hopefully signifies what is next to come from the UK wordsmith.